October 18, 2018 / 2:55 PM / a month ago

Euronext courts Italian tech companies for Paris listings

FILE PHOTO: The logo of stock market operator Euronext is seen on a building in the financial district of la Defense in Courbevoie, near Paris, France, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

MILAN (Reuters) - Pan-European stock exchange Euronext (ENX.PA) is seeking to lure promising Italian technology companies to list in Paris, saying they will benefit from a wider pool of tech investors than in Italy.

The move underscores more aggressive competition between stock exchanges as they try to add scale and reduce costs by increasing the number of listed companies.

Euronext runs exchanges in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin and Lisbon. It is Europe’s biggest exchange operator by market capitalization, ahead of the London Stock Exchange (LSE.L), which also owns the Milan bourse.

As of this week, 11 small Italian companies that had expressed interest in listing in Paris are taking part in a training program funded by Euronext which aims to prepare them for a possible initial public offering in France.

The participants include gene therapy specialist Genenta Science; Greenrail, a startup that makes rail tracks using recycled tyres and recycled plastic; and Supermercato24, an online grocery delivery platform.

Italy’s bourse in Milan is dominated by banking stocks, with few technology companies, and emerging Italian tech firms would benefit from the Paris bourse’s bigger pool of tech investors, Euronext Italian Representative Giovanni Vecchio said.

The training program has been in place since 2015 but was extended this year beyond Euronext markets to companies based in Italy, Germany, Spain and Switzerland.

The Milan bourse also offers educational programs under its Elite platform which targets mainly non-listed companies in Italy but also in Morocco, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and West Africa.

Euronext is heavily dependent on share trading for its revenue and is trying to diversify by moving into foreign exchange and last year bought the Irish Stock Exchange, which lists bonds.

Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Susan Fenton

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